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Stewardship officer thanks parishes as new figures show a rise in giving

Date: 01 July 2013
Diocesan stewardship officer Juliet Evans has thanked parish stewardship promoters, treasurers and Gift Aid secretaries for their tireless work after national figures for parish income in 2011 showed a 1.3% increase in giving.

Parish income passed the £900 million mark for the first time, reaching £916m of which £546m was from giving.

Together with the Diocese of London the Diocese of Guildford had the joint highest weekly giving per electoral roll member at £9.40.

Juliet said: “We give thanks for the continued generosity of parishioners in our diocese. Generous giving of both money and time provides vital resources to enable the mission of God in the world, both locally and further afield, and fosters distinctive Christian lifestyles that enable others to be touched by God.

“As diocesan stewardship officer, my role is to work alongside parishes offering support and resources for planned giving (including stewardship campaigns), capital funding projects, wills and legacies initiatives, and Gift Aid.

“I am also keen to develop the network of Parish Stewardship Promoters across the diocese – and would like to take this opportunity to thank them, together with all treasurers and Gift Aid secretaries, for their tireless work on stewardship matters.”

Other figures showing improvement include income from parish investments, up 7% as markets improved, and income from trading, such as book stalls, parish magazines and church halls, up 6%.

Investment in church buildings, for maintenance and improvements to facilities for community use, topped £200 million for first time and parishes also made significant donations to mission organisations and other charities, totalling £49 million in 2011.

Overall parishes have been in deficit since 2009 but this dropped to over £13million in 2011 from over £21 million in 2010 as parishes adjusted their spending and fell back on reserves built up prior to the recession. Since records began in 1998, there was a surplus every year until 2008 with a maximum surplus of £60million in 2007.

The figures can be read in full by clicking here.

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